New John Blackwell DVD from Hudson

Source: Harmony Central

Hudson Music announces the latest addition to its Master Series of drum instruction DVDs – John Blackwell: Master Series. The third title in the popular series features one of today’s top R&B drummers and showcases the playing that has earned him the drum chair with such high-profile artists as Justin Timberlake and Prince as well as international acclaim in his own right.

The three-hour DVD is divided into two main sections. In the first section, Blackwell performs with an all-star band and then explains and demonstrates the drum parts. Not only does the master drummer discuss the way the song and groove evolved along with the specific techniques that are involved in the performance, he demonstrates the patterns at normal and slow speeds to provide students with a deeper, fuller understanding of the parts and their musical context.

Read more …

Modern Drummer – Off The Record

Source: Harmony Central


For drummers who are serious about becoming better players, the first steps are to study the masters and learn to “play for the music.” Off The Record, by Ed Breckenfeld (Modern Drummer Publications), is an exciting new book and DVD-ROM multi-media package designed to help drummers do both. The collection of lessons from one of Modern Drummer’s most popular columns showcases more than 500 drum tracks by the world’s most important, influential, and inspiring drum artists – defining just what great drumming is all about.

The innovative educational bundle is recommended as a supplement to lessons and self-study for drummers of all levels. It includes a 120-page book with note-perfect transcriptions of isolated drum patterns with in-depth analysis of how they were created to fit the style, context, and structure of the song. It also includes a bonus DVD-ROM that contains nearly 180 MP3 tracks recorded using advanced software and techniques to emulate the sound, feel, dynamics, groove, and intensity of the original drum parts.

Read the full press release …


DVD Review – Carmine Appice: Drum Master Class

Carmine Appice (pronounced a piece) the man, the myth, the legend, the hair, the mustache… you get it all in Carmine Appice: Drum Master Class. Carmine Jumps straight into the teaching as soon the video begins and the topic is double bass shuffles. He demonstrates a basic double bass shuffle and then goes through some ideas about how spice up the basic shuffle anyway you want.

The cool thing about this video is that they have a transcription that pops up on the screen when Carmine is going to play something. The transcription is written in white which is usually dumb because it’s usually hard to see against most backgrounds. It’s very easy to see in this vid, so thumbs up there. He then demonstrates a cool lick between the hands and feet that you can throw in about anywhere to give it a semi-boogalooish feel. Good stuff so far.

He then moves on into drags and how he applies them in some of his rhythms. He demonstrates drags on both his hands and feet. Alot of this stuff is in his realistic rock book and DVDs so bear that in mind if you already own some of his other stuff. however the stuff he covers in here is the stuff that modern rock drumming is made of. Read more


DVD Review – Simon Philips: Complete

Simon Philips: Complete is another case of two older videos being merged and resold as a single DVD. Its two individual parts being Simon Philips and Simon Philips Returns.

The thing about this DVD is that it doesn’t really reveal to you what you are getting into when you buy/rent it. Certainly there’s no hint as to the nature of the content in the title of the DVD. So I’m going to tell you what you’re getting into. Mostly you’re getting performance and breakdown of music Simon Phillips wrote, along with a couple of solos and some sections on general drumming topics. Some of the general drumming topics include double bass drumming and double bass tuning, timekeeping, coordination, snare drum tuning, and snare drum playing.

The advice he gives is pretty good in many of the areas he talks about and not so good in some of the others. Usually when the advice isn’t satisfactory it’s because he didn’t go in-depth enough as opposed to the advise just being bad. Also, as with most older DVDs, lots of the ideas and advice he give have been done again but better in newer DVDs. You can tell this stuff was big news back in the old days but today much of it has been improved on. I’m searching and failing to say something else about this DVD which means it’s time for the break down. Read more


DVD Review – Steve Smith’s Drum Legacy

Steve Smith, shiny headed drummer extraordinaire has done it again! Standing on the Shoulder’s of Giant’s is Steve’s tribute to all the greats that came before him (and he does them justice.) Steve Smith’s Jazz Legacy was originally Buddy’s Buddies, a tribute band to the work of Buddy Rich. As they went on, they started expanding to the work of other jazz drumming greats. Eventually the name was changed to Jazz Legacy because they had left the realm of a Buddy Rich tribute band and became something more.

This video contains the entire 2006 Modern Drummer Festival performance of Steve Smith’s Jazz Legacy and after each song there is a long discussion about it between John Riley and Steve Smith. John Riley’s presence does help make the DVD much better and I’ll explain how. If you remember my review of Steve Smith’s Drum Set Technique & History of the U.S. Beat, my one criticism was that Steve Smith was very stiff when he was talking to the camera. Well, because John Riley is there, Steve has an actual person to talk to. The effect being, Steve is much more personable and easier to watch. But Riley is more then just someone for Steve to bounce conversation off of. He is a Jazz scholar in his own right and adds much insight and a different perspective to Steve when they discuss the performances and the artists to which the performances are tributes. Read more


DVD – Review: Learn Drums With Six Great Masters!

This presentation by Hotlicks is reminiscent of Frankenstein’s monster. The idea being to take the best sections of six different Hotlicks features and blend them together in one monster presentation. Most of the movies that are sampled in this video have a full length of about sixty minutes. While this movie itself is only 41 minuets long. My point being that you getting less by watching this then you would by watching one of the videos sampled in this feature.

Now to be fair, I’m pretty sure that about half of these videos aren’t in production anymore so this might be the only way you have to get a glimpse into what those videos contained. I’ve searched for the videos by Kenwood Denard, Tico Torres, and Tommy Aldridge but I can’t find them anywhere. If you were desperate to see these things, you might find one at a Goodwill somewhere in Nebraska in VHS format. Read more


DVD Review – Stanton Moore: Take it to the Street: A Modern Approach to New Orleans Drumming


Part 2 of Stanton Moore’s two part series on New Orleans drumming is his take on modern New Orleans drumming. If you saw the first one you might get a feeling of deja-vu watching this one as lots of the same stuff seems to be covered in this DVD. For example there is another section on using the different areas of the snare drum just like the previous DVD

I did note that I complained about how he didn’t talk much about sticking on the first DVD. Well he does on this DVD. If he’s going to talk about a sticking in a particular chapter, the chapter will be named after that particular sticking. Usually the chapter consists of him just going through a bunch of different ideas that you can accomplish with that particular. Much like the last DVD. Lots of good ideas but I feel that he just scratches the surface with the meager amount of time that he uses to actually teach. He does once again have a bunch of sections on specific rhythms that he came up with for the drum-set. There’s one he calls magnolia special that involves him using a jingle stick (christmas wand) on a floor tom to get this tambourine kind of vibe. Read more


DVD Review – Stanton Moore: Take it to The Street: A Traditional Approach to New Orleans Drumming

Before I begin the review, I have to make everyone aware of a policy change that I will make effective as of this review. From now on I’m going to review DVD’s with more then one volume (like this one) each on their own individual merits. I realized in my review of Joe Morello’s DVDs that I barely mentioned the first DVD at all in my review. Granted, my opinion at that time (and it hasn’t changed since) was that there really wasn’t much to talk about. Still, it merited it’s own separate review. I will still talk about the relationship between the (or more) related products, but my score at the end will be reflective of the product as it stands by itself.

And now, on with the review!
Read more


DVD Review – Joe Morello’s Drum Method: Volume 1 & 2

The problem with reviewing these old drum technique instructional videos is that their modern counterparts just blow the old ones out of the water. These new DVD’s like Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer and Drum-Set Technique/History of the U.S. Beat are so thorough and comprehensive that there is not very much to be gained by viewing these old ones. This is somewhat true of Joe Morello’s Drum Method 1 & 2, but not as much as I expected.

Read more


DVD Review – Chris Coleman: Playing with Precision and Power

Chris Coleman: Playing with Precision and Power is the latest in a set of instructional videos under the Dynamic Drumming name. The first two volumes in the series are only available on VHS as far as I can tell, which might have something to do with their scarcity. You’ll probably need to look on ebay or some electronic retailer to find the first two volumes.

The first half of the vid is nothing but Chris playing with a band. They play four songs and go through two interview segments before Chris actually does any instructing in this instructional video. All the songs appear to be written by Chris Coleman which is pretty impressive but, I mean, dang! It’s like a concert-clinic in two large and unequal pieces. There was nothing to indicate that it would be this kind of format… it just kinda ambushes you, you know?

Read more


DVD Review – Steve Gadd: Master Series

Steve Gadd is probably the most well respected drummer alive today, so it makes sense that he’d be chosen to star in Hudson Music’s new Master Series DVDs. The new Master Series, um, series… is pretty much just a recording of a drummer doing a clinic, master class, showcase concert, meet n’ greet, panel, Q&A session and whatever other title they may give these types of events. Maybe it was born out of a desire to share these live sessions with the public who couldn’t be there in person. Maybe it was because they couldn’t schedule these artists to come in and shoot a DVD so they just recored a clinic the artist was going to do anyway. Maybe these Master Series DVD’s cost less to produce… we may never know. Regardless of the reason, these things have been a long time coming.

The great thing about this DVD is that you have the best seat in the house, where the action is! If Steve is doing something interesting with his feet, you’re right there with the bass drum cam. When he does brush work, you’re right over the snare drum, catching ever sweep. Just a really pro job from the Hudson Music crew (though by now we’ve come to expect that.) So let’s talk about Steve’s performance. Read more


DVD Review – Ginger Baker: Master Drum Technique

Who knew that Peter (Ginger) Baker made an instructional video? I did. So I’m reviewing it.

The DVD is actually a re-released version of the original video that was on VHS, but it’s now armed with slow motion, looping, & chapter select features. Which means that it kicks the crap out of the VHS version.

Ginger Baker starts out the video with a bare bones minimum description of how to hold a drumstick and a woefully inadequate section on tuning the drums. It does get better from there, however. Baker’s approach to teaching is a lot like your standard drum teacher’s method. As soon as you can hold the sticks you move on to rudiments, the first two being the paradiddle and the mummy (it’s an english thing) daddy roll. Cool thing about this video is that whenever he does demonstrate a rudiment, the sticking appears on the screen. Nifty. After he demonstrates the basic rudiment he usually turns it into some form of a tom groove. Baker’s tom grooves are probably one of the most interesting parts of his playing and he does a great job of showing how he uses them in his playing. For example he plays a song called “Ants in the Kitchen” where the main groove is a paradiddle that has been shifted one sixteenth note. Instead of RLRR LRLL it’s RLLR LRRL. Read more


DVD Review – John Blackwell: Technique, Grooving, and Showmanship


John Blackwell Jr’s DVD was one of Hudson Music’s first “High End” DVDs. Double disk, tons of special features, great camera work, shot at Bear Tracks studios in upstate New York. You know, the high end ones. It was the first Hudson Music DVD I ever owned (I have since given it to goodwill) and it was also one of the worst drum instructional I’ve ever owned. Now before you start throwing things at your computer screen, just hear me out. This isn’t a knock on John Blackwell as a drummer or as a musician. He is awesome as both… but he just wasn’t good at teaching in this DVD. He might be a lot better now or better in different settings but he just wasn’t good at communicating or teaching in this DVD.

It’s a crying shame because he’s definitely got a lot of things that I would love to learn from him. For example his Bass Drum technique is awesome. We’re talking Jojo Mayer and above level of playing with his right foot. But he basically says “I’m rocking the foot but not sliding it, now watch.” He then proceeds to blow your mind with the awesomeness of his right foot. He then plays a couple of grooves that show you that this stuff can be used in a musical context… then he moves on. AAARHHHGGGHHH!!! It’s like watching a magic trick. You see him do it but you don’t know how! Anyways, seeing as I went into the technique section I might as well cover all of them right quick… and “right quick” is really all I need. Read more

Chad Smith to Release New DVD

Source: Music Dispatch

Chad Smith – Eastern Rim is a jam-packed 2-DVD set that includes performance footage, insightful drum clinic material, touring diaries, and interviews with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer himself. Features include:

Drum Clinics: Chad demonstrates his power and skill in clinics filmed in Australia and Japan. These clinics offer multi-camera angles (including overhead and foot-cam!) and show Chad playing with original recordings from Stadium Arcadium as well as classic rock songs like “Rock ‘n’ Roll”and “Moby Dick,”made famous by Led Zeppelin. Read more


DVD Review – New Orleans Drumming

PhotobucketThis DVD is actually a three in one deal. It’s three older videos that they smashed together into one package. That’s why there are three different set of credits throughout the DVD. In this package you get; Ragtime and Beyond: Evolution of a Style, with Herlin Riley. Street Beats: Modern Applications, with Johnny Vidacovich. From R&B to Funk, with Earl Palmer & Herman Ernest, to round things out. Read more

Load More